Random ramblings.

Wednesday
Sep292010

Lost, Then Found - A Song For My Father

A vid for my sweet, troubled dad. RIP. Images and words I found on a recent trip to Florida, visiting a couple sweet people on my dad's side of the family, set to a song I wrote about him. He left when I was around 6, and I wasn't in regular contact with him or his family after that. He died in 1994, just before my daughter was born. Beyond all that, the song pretty much tells it as well as I know how to. Goodbyes keep going. Good luck with yours.

Oh, in case you can't read his writing in the letter at the end, here's the part of what he wrote that really got to me. I can hear me in it. It's odd. He wrote it in 1960, years before I was even a thought. He was in his early 20s, writing a letter to his sister:

"I have thought of you off and on the past few months. Now that I am back in circulation, so to speak, I wonder about you and me and life more often. I know that we share a sense of urgency concerning the possibility that life might pass us by. This feeling is called ambition when we know what to do with it, and frustration when no direction is apparent. I run hot and cold between ambition and frustration for lots of little reasons, not the least of which is the weather. There are other factors also, such as sex and money and feelings of self value. You know, little things. Well, slowly I am learning to push during the high times and keep up the front during the low times. Another trick I've put in my bag is to spend less money, thereby releasing me from the need to work at things I don't like.

Perhaps you will find my attempts somewhat useful, if not, at least entertaining."

Friday
Sep102010

Stuff Like This

Just got this message, tears in my eyes. You just never know what your ideas (of any sort) will do in the world.

"I've always loved the song 'Better Than This'. On dark days I've put the phone on my pillow and drifted off to it. I just played this song over the phone for a man that is losing his battle with a fatal disease: ALS/Lou Gehrig's disease. When the entire nearly 8 minute version (NEO version) was done, he signaled through computer commands that he wanted me to play it again. Thank you for writing beautiful music that can make people happy who virtually nothing to be happy about. 

Patrick Obrien (http://www.patrickobrienfoundation.org) is in a glorified homeless shelter. He's only 33, and was/is an accomplished film maker. His family has thrown up their hands because he's too much to care for, and he doesn't have the funds to provide for his own needs. We're starting our own little army for him =D 

Maybe if you have a moment you can call and sing that song or another to him, he can't communicate at this time...we're working on a new communication device for him...but his mind is still just as sharp as it ever was; he just doesn't have the muscle control to speak...or breathe on his own for that matter. Anyway, if you were to be so inspired to do so, he can be reached at xxx-xxx-xxxx. 

Thank you again for all the ways you bring beauty into so many lives!"

Okay, calling him now. Hope I can sing okay through the grateful tears.

Saturday
Aug282010

Cuba, July 2010 - Words, Sound & Vision

Here's a little movie comprised of all the best pics & vids from our trip to Cuba. For best viewing, click on HD, then click on the full-screen icon next to that, then press play and enjoy.

All I can really say about Cuba is that everything I've heard or seen about it just isn't accurate. It's a really complex place, and I have the feeling that the small amount of time we spent there just barely scratched the surface. It's not some Utopia. There are a lot of people really struggling, without a lot of options. There's a very unsettling feeling of authority in the air, and some of the people we met had some pretty harsh stories to tell. Definitely reminded me to appreciate the freedoms I can take for granted. All that said, it's definitely not some horrible dictatorship either. They've done a lot right. There's also a fullness and vibrancy there that I've never felt anywhere else. The love of music and rhythm in particular permeates the whole place. I definitely recommend getting there before it opens up to the US. I'm sure it'll change for the better in some ways, and I also know it will be forever changed, and some of the time-capsule magic will be lost.

Anyway, enough with the words. Enjoy the images and sounds. Oh, the music was written and performed by a group of friends that befriended us. I brought a little recorder out one night and recorded a bunch of tunes they wrote, I'm getting that together now. We spent just about every night with them, up until all hours, beating up Beatles, Elvis, Marley, Radiohead and anything else we all knew, in between gorgeous Spanish songs, generally making a happy racket.

So, to Pedro y Duavel y todos el personas en El Grupo Tan Feliz (forgive my busted Spanish), we miss you. See you soon.

Wednesday
Aug042010

Home again and anew

Back from a most astonishing adventure. More soon on the ridiculously rocking recent past in words, sounds and vision in the next few days. In short, among other things, my understanding of and passion for what it is to make music has been lit up anew. 

For today, though, as promised, news about the impending album and how you can keep being a part of its creation and release. Putting together the announcement now, should be up in a few hours.

In other news, the JoHawk is gone. My head, like my heart, is fresh, clean and experiencing healthy growth.

Sunday
Jul182010

Band names from odd places

Those weird security text captcha things yield some decent band names. Just got 

Mr. Parleyed

Got a great one the other day too, but forgot. Silly me.

Friday
Jul162010

Read this sweet note & c'mon in

Just got this from somewhere in the world. Whatever this album becomes, this process and communication is is what it's all about:

Hi Jonah,

I just uploaded on track in your server. I'm sorry to not be one percussionist or to not have stuff to record strings with me. I created this track with a generatif software called Audiomulch that I love so much. it's pretty nice ambient and I hope you will like. I wish you could use it, do an amazing stuff with it. anyway, I created for your futur album, so no probs if you use or not. I wish to you all the best!

Gracefully, Dorian

Friday
Jul162010

Mornin

Bit hazy inside and out, lots of music and plans to make. Charting out where diff songs&recordings are at today, exciting. Loving the ideas, keep em comin.

http://jonahmatranga.com/news/2010/7/9/lets-make-an-album-a-post-in-progress.html

Let's go.

Thursday
Jul152010

Just sayin

I pretty much have the cutest mohawk ever. It's like owning a hamster.

Wednesday
Jul142010

Still Life With Toothbrush And Mohawk

Summer fun at Gav's. We recorded some really great stuff. I kicked his ass playing pool. He's got clippers. And there you have it. Hi.